Modern quality standards for hotels in Columbia

HOTQUA hotel tourism quality • Clear responsibilities increase staff motivation and make integrating new staff easier.

young man holds a pan over a grill fire and smiles into the camera
Sunshine GmbH & Co. KG


In Autumn 2019, the German education and training provider HOTQUA trained 60 skilled workers and managers from 24 hotels in Antioquia, a region in the north-west of Colombia, in quality management.

The three-day training programmes covered all the key quality standards in the hotel industry, from reception and reservations to housekeeping, technology, food and catering. The participants also learned important rules about sustainability and environmental practices. The theoretical aspects were backed up by practice-based inspections and exercises in hotels. Each learning unit was followed by an online test.

The participants were expected to then adapt the content they learned to the conditions of their own hotels. In addition to training the staff, the primary aim of the training and subsequent certification is to anchor the concept of sustainability in the hotels and to improve their economic performance and profile.

At the start of 2020, HOTQUA carried out an audit on behalf of various chambers and chamber associations to assess the quality standards in the 24 hotels. Hotels that fulfilled over 75 per cent of the necessary criteria received a certificate from HOTQUA and the Colombian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Colombia) which is valid for three years. In the second and third year, the AHK monitors compliance with the standards. If compliance is upheld, HOTQUA re-issues certification.

The auditing process in Antioquia was paperless, as all the checklists already existed in digital form. It was thus possible to complete the quality checks using the mobile phones of the hotel management or other management staff. The Colombian partners were particularly impressed by this use of modern technology.

street view
Frank Höchsmann

The "Cauca Viejo" in Antioquia

Strengthening competitiveness

Hotels benefit in various ways from introducing modern quality standards and obtaining certification. Optimising operational processes helps to cut down on administration, considerably reduces errors, and results in clear cost and time savings. Involving staff in the quality management process, clearly apportioning responsibility for every job and work process, as well as regular follow-up training, all lead to a long-term increase in staff motivation and speed up the process of integrating new employees.

Since 1999, the German education and training provider HOTQUA has been providing services and training to the international hotel and hospitality sector. The aim is to increase quality standards, quality and service management, environmental protection and sustainability as well as occupational health and safety. To date, HOTQUA has carried out more than 1,500 workshops and trained more than 15,000 participants in three languages. Some 150 hotels worldwide work with the HOTQUA quality standards.

The service packages developed by HOTQUA build on one another and help the hotels to progress step-by-step towards significantly improved service quality, employee motivation, guest and customer relationships and thus greater competitiveness. From recording initial quality to providing training and introducing individual quality standards or an ISO 9001-compliant quality management system, HOTQUA offers the companies all-round support.

Christoph Oehmichen from the AHK Colombia/Chamber of Commerce and Trade (IHK) Hannover is enthusiastic about the training and its effects on tourism in the region: “Thanks to its expertise, HOTQUA has made a major contribution to overcoming the lack of quality in the services provided by hotels in Medellin and south-west Antioquia. Following intensive face-to-face training and subsequent checks, it was possible to make major improvements to the hygiene and quality standards in 24 hotels in the region and meet European standards. The hotels were then awarded a recognised certificate, which makes them far more appealing to international customers, thus greatly benefiting tourism in the region.”

Thanks to its expertise, HOTQUA has made a major contribution to overcoming the lack of quality in the services provided by hotels in Medellin and south-west Antioquia. [...]

Christoph Oehmichen, AHK Colombia/IHK Hannover 

young man gutting a fish
Marieke Polnik, Braunschweig

Gutting fish professionally